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Posts from the ‘Reading Updates’ Category

Nat Turner’s Stolen Book

The Confessions of Nat Turner is a heavy novel.

But one of William Styron’s strengths is balancing that heaviness with light humor or just observations on the normal day-to-day lives of slaves in the 1800s.

Styron uses flashbacks to show how some events—such as Nat Turner witnessing his mother getting raped by a plantation manager —affected him throughout his life. He shows Nat’s desire to educate himself, despite the enormous obstacles in his way.

Even as a child, Nat Turner was extremely smart, risking a lot for a small pleasure so many of us take for granted—just the opportunity to “read” a book. Read more

Meet One Of The Saddest Couples In Literature

I’ve got to admit that I really like Appointment in Samarra.

Knowing very little about the novel before I started, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy O’Hara’s writing style, as well as the story.

If you enjoy a novel based on what’s essentially small-town gossip among a bunch of country clubbers, then you’ll probably appreciate Appointment in Samarra.

Here’s how O’Hara describes how his main character, Julian English, met his wife. Read more

Previewing The Next 5 Novels

Last week I posted the list of books that I still have to read from the Time list—27 in all.

As I’m getting close to wrapping up Appointment in Samarra (it’s going by so quickly!), I thought I’d share with you guys the next five novels I’ve selected to read.

So here they are, in no particular order: Read more

Some Thoughts On The 27 Remaining Novels

Let’s take a look at the 27 books I have left to read from the Time list, shall we?

Here’s what’s left: Read more

The Grit And Realism Of “The Sportswriter”

The Sportswriter has that gritty, realistic feel of an Updike novel.

To this point, it’s not near as dark as Rabbit Run, but the overall “feel” is the same.

Frank Bascombe is a failed novelist-turned successful sportswriter, divorced with 3 kids, one of whom recently passed. His background is sad, but he’s by no means given up on life. More than anything, he seems to be floating through life—simply responding to what comes his way.

The novel just has such an intuitive grasp of the human condition—on the slightly cynical side of things. I love how Frank describes selflessness and friendship in this passage, which follows a meeting with an acquaintance, Walter, who awkwardly reveals he’s gay. Read more

Looking Back On The Lord Of The Rings

Oh, you thought I was done?

Well, I’m almost finished talking about The Lord of the Rings…after today.

I reviewed the book last week and have moved on to The Sportswriter. But before I officially kick off blog posts about The Sportswriter tomorrow, I thought I’d take a look back at all the posts about The Lord of the Rings.

So here’s a quick rundown if you missed anything: Read more

“Well, I’m back,” he said.

I’m finished with The Lord of the Rings.

Can I get a round of applause? Thank you.

I’ll be posting my official review tomorrow, but in the meantime I thought I’d share with you the final passage of the novel.

I guess I should give you a SPOILER ALERT here, though it’s really no spoiler, unless knowing that three main characters are alive at the end of the novel would bother you.

The beauty of the passage is its finality. Read more

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